Q. I have been told that my Social Security benefits may be reduced under the windfall elimination provision. Why would this apply to a British-born citizen who worked and contributed to the government retirement benefit program there and now receives a small pension there? I did not become an American citizen until 1999, although I worked and paid Social Security until 2001 and have earned enough credits to quality for benefits here. The amounts of both pensions are too small to live on and I am wondering how the government can justify what, in effect, amounts to withholding money from a fund that I paid into all these years.

A. Go to to www.ssa.gov/pubs/10045.html for an explanation of why the law was enacted and how it is applied.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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